Review: “Godzilla vs. Kong: packs action that’s worth a watch

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

(L-r) GODZILLA battles KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release. (© 2021, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

by Katelynn Robinson, Assistant News Editor

“Godzilla vs. Kong” starring Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Brian Tyree Henry hit open theaters and HBO Max on March 31. 

This movie combines the two Kong and Godzilla-centered universes in a battle that strives to divide mankind. 

Characters portrayed by Rebecca Hall, Alexander Skarsgård, and Kaylee Hottle escort Kong on his journey to find an incredible power source and to fight Godzilla. Godzilla is supported by characters portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Brian Tyree Henry who are attempting to identify the threat to Godzilla.

Oddly enough, the two teams of people never meet in the film. Although Godzilla and Kong fight both against and alongside each other, the separate crews of human characters never interact with each other. 

Before watching this movie, be sure to watch “Godzilla”, “Godzilla: King of Monsters” and “Kong: Skull Island” for context on the characters and their past adventures. 

Henry said he was very excited to participate in his role as the mad scientist. He and Dennison were the comedic relief of the film as they traveled with Brown in search of what is threatening Godzilla. 

Dennison and Henry discussed how most of the set was animated and created with CGI which is to be expected with the two main characters being entirely computer-generated. 

“The sets were huge,” Dennison said. “Sometimes you would just have to get a chiropractor because you were looking up so much.”

Henry said the actors depended a lot on notes from their director, Adam Wingard since they could never see exactly what was happening on the set in real life. 

“Scream when they tell you to scream,” Henry said. “It is okay to ask what level of scream you need? Are we screaming for our lives? are we screaming from fear, are we screaming and running at the same time? These are all things that are important to know.” 

Being a fan of the Godzilla and Kong universe, Henry said he was excited to play the role of Bernie Hayes, the conspiracy theorist scientist who communicates his theories via podcast.

“I am a huge geek of this universe honestly,” Henry said. “I remember when I was asked to play this part and I was like ‘really, I get to play the crackpot scientist? They never had the black guy play the crackpot scientist on that stuff.”

Henry said he tried to combine the traits of Dr. Emmett Brown from “Back to the Future” and the scientist from “Independence Day” in this role. 

“I wanted him to be the voice of reason, which he was. I wanted him to be the one that had the heart that you didn’t want to just toss away because everything he says was true. Everything he says is right. And I really wanted to make sure that Bernie came off that way.”

He also mentioned that he wanted to show some representation of Bernie Sanders, explaining that even in these fantasy worlds politics from our world remain present.

“And when my character’s name is going to be Bernie I was like alright I got to represent really hard then. I was like I wanna make sure I throw a little Bernie Sanders in there too.” 

“Even in these worlds, it is still kind of political. They use these platforms sometimes to talk about the things that are going on in our world.”

The plot of the movie is complex since the audience feels sympathy for both Godzilla and Kong. The characters assisting each creature help build depth into the animated characters and create an atmosphere where you are rooting for both sides.

“Honestly I never thought I’d say this, I think these monsters are misunderstood,” Henry said. “They got the label of being monsters when actually they are kings.”

Henry spoke about his experience working primarily with Brown and Dennison, two significantly younger actors, throughout the entire movie. He said they made the experience enjoyable and commended Dennison on his improv skills.

“Julian, I don’t know if you guys know, Julian is just a master man,” Henry said. “He is a master improver.”

Henry said he referred to his team of three as the “Goonies” because of the journey and adventure their characters were on together. He also said Brown and Dennison “elevated the performance” which encouraged him to do the same. 

Godzilla vs. Kong has been one of the first movies to hit open in-person theaters since the start of the pandemic. Dennison said he is happy to see people come together and enjoy this movie in theaters. 

Henry said the movie is a great experience no matter where you watch it. Whether it is on the big screen or your phone, Henry says to turn your speakers up! 

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